Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu called for a change in the condition of farmers in the country. In an article that appeared in a leading publication, he said that for every rupee that a farmer makes, others in the supply chain reap several times as much. This, he emphasised, needs to change.
Calling India a leading producer of a variety of agricultural and allied produce, and exporter of some of them, the Vice President said all this is due to the hard work and efforts of our farmers against all odds.
He said that farmers toil day and night; winter or summer; rain or shine; adequate returns or not. But they are not the masters of the price of their toil.
Vice President highlighted that despite increasing public investments in irrigation and other infrastructure, the steadily rising institutional credit given to farmers, and minimum support price due to the efforts of various governments over the years, farmers are shackled when it comes to selling their produce.
“As a son of a farmer, I am a witness to the trials and tribulations of the farmers in myriad ways,” he added.
Highlighting the plight of the farmers, Vice President Naidu said remunerative price is still a mirage for them, and their farm incomes are at the mercy of markets, middlemen and money lenders.
He called for this to change. The Vice President also pointed out that during the current coronavirus pandemic, many have the option of working from home, but farmers don’t.
He added that, despite lockdown, the sowing of wheat, paddy, pulses etc has increased over that of last year.
In the end, Vice President Naidu reiterated that our farmers deserve the long-awaited freedom to market their produce at a place of their choice. He said that it should become a reality at the earliest.